Giro stage 10 report / discussion: sprinters miss ‘n out
The sprinters’ teams were lucky – or good, or both – in the first few sprint stage opportunities at this year’s Giro d’Italia. But the luck ran out on stage 10 as a wet day, a reduced field, and a determined break conspired to foil their chances.
That’s a big miss, because there aren’t many sprint stages at this year’s Giro anyway, and with COVID-19 giving the race a kind of “devil take the hindmost” quality, no one can say for sure how many chances a given rider has left.
Instead it was EF Education-Easypost’s Magnus Cort who emerged victorious from the daylong breakaway even though it took him two tries to get into it. Cort’s savvy riding in the final saved him just enough in a long, draggy sprint against Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) and Jayco AlUla’s Alessandro De Marchi.
The day started with nine DNS’s, including stage 9 winner and pink jersey Remco Evenepoel and EF’s Rigoberto Uran. Most were due to COVID-19 positives, which are sweeping through the race at the moment. Three more riders, including Bora-Hansgrohe’s Aleksandr Vlasov, didn’t finish the stage.
The gently rising profile in the first part of the course, capped by two modest climbs, caused a split in the pack, and while Astana’s Mark Cavendish made it back, a number of others, including stage 3 winner Kaden Groves of Alpecin-Deceuninck, did not.
The reduced pack held a manageable gap to the break, but with only Trek-Segafredo and Bahrain Victorious doing real work at the front, they never pulled it much under a minute, and finally it became clear that the catch wasn’t coming.
Gee put in a strong attack just over a kilometer out, but De Marchi and Cort hauled him back before De Marchi led out a long sprint and Cort surged past both for the win. For Gee, it’s the second time this Giro he’s been denied a stage win by an EF rider, albeit in drastically different circumstances. De Marchi, a three-time Vuelta España stage winner, has now seen two possible chances to get his first home tour win vanish in the final meters.
Discussion – have your say in the comments:
-Jay Vine crashed hard and finished in the grupetto, more than 11 minutes down. Any GC hopes are over for him, but does he support João Almeida’s campaign or go for stages?
-COVID-19 is obviously a big problem at the race, which has reinstituted masking and other safety protocols. With riders one test away from a DNS, how does that change how they race?
-Giro organizers already announced that Friday’s Stage 13 route is altered, with riders to go through a tunnel instead of over the Grand Saint-Bernard pass. It’s still pretty high (2,000 meters), but lacks a bit of the sting. Will we see more weather-related route changes?
- Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easypost)
- Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech)
- Alessandro De Marchi (Jayco-AlUla) @ :02
- Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) @ :51
- Pascal Ackerman (UAE Team Emirates) @ same time